Pick of the week
The Enfield Haunting Friday, 9.40pm, BBC First (117)
Peggy Hodgson is a harassed single mother with four children: Margaret, 12, Janet, 11, Johnny, 10, and Billy, 7. They live in a semidetached council house at 284 Green Street, Enfield, north London. Bizarre, unexplained things begin to occur: there are drips in a cupboard, beds shake, water appears on the floor, objects fly around rooms, family and visitors are assaulted, and graffiti appears on the walls. Janet (Eleanor Worthington-Cox) appears to be possessed; she becomes the mouthpiece for a former owner, Bill Wilkins, who died in the house years earlier. This chilling three-part drama is based on their story, one that fascinated Britain as it unfolded in 1977. The truth behind the weird occurrences has never been explained although some people suspect a hoax. Adapted from This House is Haunted by Guy Lyon Playfair, the series tells of the Hodgsons’ terror and the efforts by police, psychics, experts in the occult and reporters to find out what’s going on. A poltergeist specialist, Maurice Grosse (Timothy Spall), a member of the world’s oldest paranormal research organisation, the Society for Psychical Research, is determined to unmask the dark forces. Having lost his young daughter in a playground accident, he wants to protect Janet. This is a fascinating, but creepy, story that makes you wonder.